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That 70s Reno: Kids' bedroom makeovers

With the help of MasterStroke by Resene, Alice and Caleb Pearson are transforming their forever family home on the Hibiscus Coast in north Auckland. The project, which they’ve dubbed ‘That 70s Reno’ is a non-demolition makeover. 

“In three to five years, we plan to do a big-scale renovation,” says Alice. “But while we wait we’re using paint to tackle some problems and make the house our own.” 

The Pearsons are no strangers to DIY. Over the past 13 years they’ve renovated 11 of their own properties, as well as houses on The Block NZ in 2013 and The Ultimate Reno in 2018. 

While this house ticked all the boxes and offered plenty of space for them and their four children, it still left scope for them to personalise with their signature touch. There’s plenty they want to change while still giving a nod to the 70s style of the house, so they’re harnessing the power of Resene paint to show just how effectively it can transform a room.

The original bedrooms were identical and showed off the 1970s carpet, curtains and wallpaper, which needed to go!

Fresh off the back of their inspired kitchen transformation, Alice and Caleb now have some mini clients to impress: their eldest children, Alek, nine, and Mika, seven. With identical side-by-side bedrooms, the aim was to create spaces that reflect Alek and Mika’s individual personalities and styles. Alice and Caleb have also given themselves a unique challenge in these rooms: no white paint!

“Mika was 18 months old when she and Alek started a sharing room, so this is the first house where they’ve had their own rooms,” says Alice. “Because of that we wanted the rooms to feel very different – even though they were identical in layout.”

“Mika wants plenty of colour and a craft area, and Alek wants a library under his bed and a space dedicated for his Lego,” adds Caleb. 

Colourful choices

The couple headed to their local Resene ColorShop to get advice from Resene Paint Experts Isaac and Brenda. “Our colour expert Brenda Ngatai introduced me to the Classic Mason handcrafted wallpapers from Resene,” says Alice. “I had no idea that you could select the wallpaper in any Resene colour!” 

Once armed with everything they needed, the couple headed home to begin the demo process – saying goodbye to the original wallpaper, curtains and carpet. Then the essential step of priming began, using Resene Waterborne Sureseal pigmented sealer for all the existing surfaces and Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat on all the new timber. 

For the ceilings, they used Resene Ceiling Paint in the colours Resene Just Right (Mika’s room) and Resene Half Halcyon (Alek’s room).

Alice was excited to learn that the Resene Mason handcrafted wallpaper patterns can be made in any Resene colours. She ended up going for the Resene Mason Cydon Wallpaper Collection.
Resene Colour Expert Brenda Ngatai helped Alice choose some complementary paint colours to tie in with the Resene Wallpaper Collection 220185 chosen for Mika's bedroom.
While Alice sorted the wallpaper and paint colours, Caleb stocked up on everything the couple would need for prepping and hanging wallpaper in their kids' rooms.

In Mika’s room, Resene Wallpaper Collection 220185 was used on the walls, and the colours for the rest of the room were chosen to bring out the pastel tones in the wallpaper pattern. The panel wall, shelves and wardrobe were painted with Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel in Resene Solitaire, and Caleb added a custom-made barn door which got a pop of colour in Resene Lynchpin. Alice also even gave Mika’s pink bed frame a more grown-up makeover by priming it with Resene ArmourX GP Metal Primer and topcoating it with Resene Lustacryl in Resene Lynchpin.

Alek was given full creative control of his bedroom and he picked Resene Mason Cydon Wallpaper Collection in the colours Resene Gecko and Resene Half Halcyon. “Giving Alek full control of the colour on the wallpaper gave him a real pride in his room,” shares Alice. Resene Destiny was chosen for the trims and Resene Half Halcyon for his wardrobe and wall shelves. Caleb handmade Alek’s bed and painted it with Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel in Resene Wanaka, to tie in with his desk and chair which were painted in the same colour. 

Concrete floors can also be easily transformed with paint – all it needs is to be primed properly before applying a suitable paint formulation. Alice and Caleb used Resene Concrete Primer and then applied coats of Resene Walk-on flooring and paving paint in Resene Destiny for Alek’s room and Resene Ghost for Mika’s room. The final step was to finish this with Resene Concrete Wax.

Mika’s room

Mika’s room has walls in Resene Wallpaper Collection 220185, panel wall and shelves in Resene Solitaire, chair, bed and barn door in Resene Lynchpin and concrete floor in Resene Ghost.

What a transformation!

The finished result is a triumph – the kids are thrilled and Alice and Caleb are extremely proud of their efforts. 

“Wallpapering would have to be one of the most satisfying DIY tasks ever,” says Alice. “It’s an instant transformation to your walls and both rooms took less than two days to complete. And the impact is pretty essential to the design of both the rooms too.” 

As well as a colour refresh, Caleb custom-made elements for each room, which provided plenty of storage solutions for the limited floor space. “The new wardrobe doors made the wardrobes easier to access, and storage under both beds means these rooms are a lot easier to keep clean and organised,” says Alice.

Alek’s room

Alek’s room features Resene Mason Cydon Wallpaper in the colours Resene Gecko and Resene Half Halcyon, trims and concrete floor in Resene Destiny, shelves in Resene Half Halcyon and bed, desk and chair in Resene Wanaka.

Alice also says the process has also vindicated their passion for going big with colour. “These rooms took us to design places we had never been before,” she explains. “We were worried about all the colour that we were using and that the boldness of the designs would be overwhelming, but now the colour is hands down my favourite part! These rooms have so much energy and presence, and the kids simply adore them. It’s so fab to have spaces that reflect their style.” 

And their best advice to budding DIYers? “Never underestimate the power of paint to transform a space without having to do a full demo or spend huge amounts of money. These rooms look completely different, and we pretty much painted or wallpapered every surface. It just goes to show how much a coat of paint can change a tired and dated space.”

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